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The Colonial Question: Doclisboa announces the first retrospective of its 20th edition

Doclisboa announces the first retrospective of its 20th edition, which will take place from the 6th to the 16th of October 2022, at the usual venues – Culturgest, Cinema São Jorge, Cinemateca Portuguesa and Cinema Ideal.

Under the title The Colonial Question, the festival proposes a focus on the colonial past of France and Portugal, two countries that waged wars in Africa around the same period, whilst hiding behind benign narratives, and, since then, resisting confrontation with their own history. For Amarante Abramovici, the curator of this retrospective, “the Newsreel compilation sequence, amongst which images of the colonial wars, at the end of Rite of Spring, by renowned director Manoel de Oliveira, somehow represents all that transpired from the colonial conflict in Portuguese cinema up until very recently – it is there, and yet only barely. The war that was never called “war”, breaches, and, in the same movement, reveals censorship. In the case of France, where the Algerian war was concealed in the word “évènements”, not to mention the previous conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa – which were totally hidden – state censorship was reinforced in 1955 and cinema was one of its most notorious targets.”

The programme will explore the diversity of cinematographic representations on the various protagonists of these wars, as well as their connections and differences, bringing together direct testimonies of those who lived under the colonial regime and revisiting the memories and wounds of colonialism that still shape the present.

The cycle is part of the France Portugal 2022 Season programme and will take place both in Portugal and in France,  in collaboration with Shellac Films, during the month of October.

Call for entries for Doclisboa’s 20th edition is already open and will run until May 31, 2022.